Did you know that people over 65 represent nearly 14% of the population and that number is expected to grow to 21% by 2040 according to a study by the Administration of Aging? Baby boomers and their preferences are truly shaping the changes and evolution of design in the senior housing industry. That’s why many senior living communities are working with designers like Warner Design Associates to not only listen, but actively respond to the needs of this growing population. We’ve put together a list of 7 senior living design trends to watch in 2017.
- Amenities – This is not necessarily a new trend, but it is one that will continue evolving in 2017. More communities will be offering interactive meal experiences with flexible hours for dining similar to a traditional restaurant. In addition, we predict that many communities will start offering more dynamic spaces that can be easily transformed depending on the occasions. There will also start to be more Cyber Cafes, Gardens, Movie Theatres, and Coffee Shops for residents to interact and bring guests.
- Build for Living – Residents want to feel at home so more senior communities will be designing the interior environment with modern elements in mind. Furniture will reflect future trends and become more like a luxury resort — stylish rather than dull or sterile. Safety, of course, will still be an important consideration, but comfort will be at the forefront.
- Wellness Programs – This trend is not new, however, we can expect it to become more refined and commonplace in many communities. While it is typical for senior living environments to offer a pool, gym, and fitness classes, they’ll also start offering more cooking, creative, and yoga spaces for seniors focused on mind & body wellness.
- Growing Number of 55+ Housing Communities – Many baby boomers are attracted to the resort-style amenities and ease of maintenance that comes with a restricted housing community which is why it’s seen a growing increase in popularity over these past few years. These senior living environments are expected to continue expanding in 2017, especially in urban areas near shopping boutiques, restaurants and other nearby attractions.
- Technology – This generation is more adept and accustomed to the use of technology in their daily lives which is why many communities will have to integrate it into their facilities. This includes using tablets to keep track of medications, making sure there are USB connections in furniture, adding Wi-Fi through the facility, and even offering a keyless entry for residents. All of these technological advancements must be taken into consideration when developing the design of the community.
- More LED lighting – LED lighting is a more powerful lighting source that costs less to maintain which means long term savings for many community managers. In addition, LED lighting supports the body’s natural circadian rhythm which may help more seniors sleep better. More designers like ourselves will look into ways to utilize LED lighting through the facility.
We predict that these trends and amenities will continue to evolve in 2017 as more baby boomers consider or start to opt in to senior living communities.
At Warner Design Associates, we are already assessing how our designs can continue shaping these trends for the future to ensure that residents have the best in design, comfort and functionality.